Wed, Nov 1, 9:44am by Staff Writer
Week 1 of the Rugby League World Cup provided action across the three host countries. Australia and England kicked off the tournament with a thriller in Melbourne. In Week 2 it is the turn of two of the smaller rugby league nations to take centre stage as Samoa and Tonga clash.
Samoa v Tonga, Saturday 4th November, 5:30pm AEDT, Hamilton, NZ
This will be a pivotal match in Group B as both sides look to put the pressure on favourites to top the Group, New Zealand. Samoa started their World Cup campaign losing to the Kiwis and will need to bounce back quickly if they are to have any hope against a strong Tonga side. Against the Kiwis, the Samoans failed to really get going as their pack struggled to make an impact. Something that will be a huge worry as they get ready to face the Tongans heavyweight forwards. Samoa stand at $4.45 for the win. They will be up against it this weekend, but they will point to the fact that the last time these two sides met in 2016 they ran out 18-6 victors.
A lot has changed since that match, however, as the Tongans received late boosts to their squad in the form two NRL star. Much had been made in the build up to the World Cup of Andrew Fifita’s and Jason Taumalolo’s decision to represent Tonga. They both let their actions on the field do the talking in Week 1 as they ran riot against Scotland. Taumalolo was in especially fine form as his usual wrecking ball self. Off the back of their forwards dominance, Tonga’s backs were able to shine. If they can control the emotion of the contest this weekend against Samoa, then it’s hard to see past them. They are favourites priced at $1.21.
A big win for Tonga of 13+ points tops the margins priced at $1.91 whilst the same score line for Samoa is at $15. Highlighting the feeling heading into this match. The passion and intensity of this Pacific Island rivalry may well see this be a close fought contest. A Tonga win of 1-12 points stands at $3.00 with the same margin for Samoa at $5.50. A draw is at $26.00.
In games of such importance as this it is essential for a strong start. Samoa failed to match the Kiwis intensity in the opening stages of their first game and will need a much better start against Tonga. Samoa are priced at $6.50 to score first and win the game. Tonga on the other hand stand at $1.61 to be the first to score and go on to win the match.
Pride is on the line in this huge clash of the Rugby League World Cup. Tonga will be confident heading into the game after their huge win over Scotland, but will have to be wary of a fired up Samoan side.
Bet of the Match: Tonga to Win by 1-12 points at $3
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